The Measurement of Roundness
_{M}_{E}_{T}_{R}_{O}_{L}_{O}_{G}_{Y}
A component is described as round if all points of a cross section are equidistant from a common center. Therefore, outofroundness or roundness error can be measured by evaluating changes in radius on a component relative to a true or perfect circle. The first successful roundness measuring instruments using radial methods were invented and developed by Taylor Hobson in 1951.
Why measure roundness?
A component may appear round to the eye and
may even have an apparently constant diameter when measured with a vernier or micrometer, but is it round?
The measurement of roundness
Measuring roundness requires rotation coupled
with the ability to measure change in radius. The accepted method is to compare the profile of a component under test to a circular datum, i.e.,
a 
highly accurate spindle. After aligning the axis 
of 
the component with the axis of the spindle by 
means of a centering and leveling table, a gauge (transducer) is used to measure radial variations
of the component with respect to the spindle axis.
Reference Circles
Outofroundness affects performance
The bearing shown here could have a race that is not truly circular. This would probably function for a short time but the undulations about this bearing race would cause vibration. This would result in premature wear and cause the race to perform less efficiently than intended.
Evaluating the results
Outofroundness is expressed as the difference bertween the greatest and least distance of the profile from a center. To assist in the measurement of this distance, a reference circle (or pair of circles) is superimposed on the profile. Visually this helps to identify the maximum peak and valley and it also, since the reference circle is mathematically defined, allows reliable calculations of departure from true circularity to be performed.
How they are used in the analysis of peak to valley out of roundness (RONt)
Least Squares Reference Circle (LSCI)
A circle is fitted to the data such that the sum of
the squares of the departures of the data from that circle is a minimum. Outofroundness is
expressed in terms of the maximum departure
of the profile from the LSCI (the highest peak to
the lowest valley).
Maximum Inscribed Circle (MICI)
Defined as the circle of maximum radius which will be enclosed by the profile data. Outofroundness
is 
then given as the maximum departure (or peak) 
of 
the profile from the circle. Sometimes referred 
to 
as the Plug Gauge Reference Circle. 
V
RONt (MZCI)
P
RONt = distance P to V
RONt = distance V
V
RONt (MCCI)
Minimum Zone Reference Circles (MZCI)
Defined as two concentric circles positioned to
enclose the measured profile such that their radial departure is a minimum. The roundness
value is then given as the radial separation.
Minimum Circumscribed Circle (MCCI)
Defined as the circle of minimum radius which
will enclose the profile data. The outofroundness is then given as the maximum departure (or valley) of the profile from this circle. Sometimes referred to as the Ring Gauge Reference Circle.
Note: The designations LSCI, MZCI, MCCI and MICI apply to reference circles used for the analysis of roundness. The equivalent designations for the analysis of cylindricity are LSCY, MZCY, MCCY and MICY.
Additional references for roundness and geometry measuring:
ISO 12180:2003 
Geometrical product specifications (GPS)  Cylindricity 
ISO 12181:2003 
Geometrical product specifications (GPS)  Roundness 
ISO 12780:2003 
Geometrical product specifications (GPS)  Straightness 
ISO 12781:2003 
Geometrical product specifications (GPS)  Flatness 
Roundness Parameters
= Roundness
(RONt)
Parameter RONt (roundness total) is important in that it puts a number to the departure of a profile
from a perfect circular form. By mathematically assessing the relationship of the measured profile to a reference circle, an outof round condition can
be reliably calculated and numerically described. RONp (roundness peak) and RONv (roundness valley) are companion parameters to RONt.
= Eccentricity
(ECC)
This is the term used to describe the position of
the center of a profile relative to a datum point. It
is a vector quantity in that it has both magnitude and direction. The magnitude of the eccentricity is expressed simply as the distance between the
profile center and the datum point. The direction
is expressed as an angle from the datum point.
Associated Parameters
Cylinder axis
CYLt
= Cylindricity
(CYLt)
Minimum radial separation of two cylinders, coaxial with the fitted reference axis, which totally enclose the measured data. Either LS, MZ, MC or MI cylinders can be used.
S
Datum Axis
Measurement Radius
S = Reference Plane Squareness
= Squareness
(Sqr)
The squareness value is the minimum axial separation of two parallel planes normal to the reference axis and which totally enclose the
reference plane. Either LS or MZ can be used.
Runout
Nearest point to datum
Datum point
Furthest profile point from datum
180 ^{0}
Datum
Point
90 ^{o}
270 ^{0}
0 ^{0}
Profile
Center
Axis A (Datum)
Axis _{B}
Coaxiality
Value
Component B
Component Master
LS Reference Line
F = Flatness
Datum Axis
= Runout
(Runout)
Sometimes referred to as TIR (Total Indicated Reading), runout is the radial difference between two concentric circles centered on the datum point and drawn such that one coincides with the nearest profile point to the datum and the other coincides with the farthest point on the profile. It combines the effects of form error and concentricity and attempts to predict the behavior of a profile.
= Concentricity
(CONC)
This is similar to eccentricity except that it has only a magnitude and no direction. Concentricity
is defined as the diameter of a circle described by
the profile center when rotated about the datum
point. It can be seen that the concentricity value
is twice the magnitude of the eccentricity value.
= Coaxiality
(Coax)
The diameter of a cylinder that is coaxial with the datum axis and which will just enclose the axis
of the cylinder referred for coaxiality evaluation.
= Flatness
(FLTt)
A reference plane is fitted and the flatness is
calculated as the peak to valley departure from
the plane. Either LS or MZ can be used.
Roundness filters and their effect on measurement results
Roundness filters attenuate any undulations per revolution above the selected number, allowing the true component form to be seen.
Lowering the number of upr will filter the data more heavily, thus reducing the peak to valley displayed. The choice of filter will depend on a variety of factors but many components call for 150 upr (undulations per revolution).
Current instruments offer the choice of 2CR or Gaussian filter as well as nonstandard filter selections.
Harmonic Analysis  undulations per revolution (upr)
Roundness data is well suited to harmonic analysis because it is repetitive and the Fourier coefficients of the series use this repetition to good effect. Starting with the low upr and moving to higher upr enables many factors of outofroundness to be investigated; for example, instrument setup, work piece setup, machine tool effects, process effects and material effects.
The effect of filtering undulations per revolution (upr)
115 UPR
Filter
150 UPR
Filter
Harmonic 
Source or possible cause 

0 
corresponds to the radius of the component 

1 
represents eccentricity, i.e., instrument setup (centering) 

2 
ovality of the workpiece or instrument setup (tilting) 

3 
 5 
distortion caused by clamping or manufacturing forces 
6 
 20 
chatter caused by lack of rigidity of the machine tool process effects, tool marks, etc. material effects 
20  100 100 and up 
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Copyright ^{©} 2005 • Taylor Hobson Precision • Measurement of Roundness_03/05
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